Destination: Downtown Elkhart
A Community is as vibrant as its downtown
Elkhart's Downtown Main Street has made major improvements in recent years, including sustaining more active restaurants, retail, art galleries, and market rate housing available above downtown merchants. For such downtown development to be deemed successful, the market must respond by actively redeveloping the neighborhoods surrounding a downtown Main Street.
In recent years, the market has not yet wildly responded. Elkhart's Main Street still has several residential and commercial units available and in need of renovation. This means we need to do more. Simultaneously, we must address the dramatically changing housing trends, while we create a desirable place where people of all ages want to live and play.
A Vision For Elkhart: a destination for urban living
Private and public leaders have stepped up and they have already started to commit the millions of dollars required to proactively shift the trend so that people won't only be working in Elkhart -- they will also start living and playing in Elkhart.
This project is called The River District. This district is expected to surge an urban vision with economic energy into expanding Elkhart's downtown to match the trends of other thriving urban environments -- and to make Main Street and its surrounding neighborhoods vibrant once again.
The River District Project
Since April 2017, The River District Implementation Team (RDIT) has been commissioned by the City of Elkhart to design and execute the River District project.
Currently known as a less desirable downtown area, The River District area consists of a 105-acre peninsula (see below) bounded by the St. Joseph River, Elkhart River, Main Street and Prairie/Johnson Street.
The River District Implementation Team is comprised of qualified professionals from both the public and private sectors.
Two anchor projects have already been started in this area and have been the catalyst for imagining a future of growth for Elkhart. These projects include the "Elkhart Health Fitness Aquatics and Community Center" and the Stonewater at the Riverwalk residential development by Flaherty and Collins.